One of my favorite memories of Athens was strolling down Ermou Street several years ago just before Christmas and coming upon a group of classical musicians performing midway along the pedestrian street. Street musicians are common in Athens, from solo guitarists to the quintessential South American band that seems to appear in tourist destinations from Los Angeles to Chicago to London to Athens. But this particular group had something very special that sticks in my mind. As the music played, a beautiful voice carried the sounds of a lovely aria. As I approached the musicians, I was amazed to discover the source of this aria was a dark haired young boy, perhaps 6 or 7 years old. Basil and I were mesmerized by this talented young man, and we were pleasantly surprised to hear a rumor a few years later that this same talented child performed at the Athens Olympics. I don’t know where he is today, but I hope that as his voice has probably now “changed”, he has been able to harness his talent and continues to share his musical gift with the people of Athens. As you wander the streets of Athens, perhaps you, too, will have a chance encounter with him, although, if not, the city of Athens has seen to it that you will still find the streets filled with music this holiday season, as now they have more formally transformed the city into an outdoor moveable musical feast.

Beginning December 20, daily at 7:30 pm, a different musical performance will be held at squares throughout the city:

December 2007
Thursday December 20 City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra Petroula Square

Friday December 21 Zack Stefanou and the band Koala Thissio Square

Friday December 21 Yiorgos & Stavros Mylonadakis Thymarakia Square

Saturday December 22 Zack Stefanou and the band Koala Kypseli Square

Saturday December 22 City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra Agia Ekaterini Square

Sunday December 23 Yiorgos & Stavros Mylonadakis Lambrini Square

Thursday December 27 Kitrina Podilata Fix Square

Friday December 28 Zack Stefanou and the band Koala Fix Square

Friday December 28 City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra Agios Dimitrios Square

Saturday December 29 Zack Stefanou and the band Koala Pangrati Square

Saturday December 29 Yiorgos & Stavros Mylonadakis Agios Thomas Square

Sunday December 30 Kitrina Podilata Thissio Square

Sunday December 30 City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra Amerikis Square

January 2008

Friday January 4 Kitrina Podilata Messologi Square

Saturday January 5 Kitrina Podilata Victoria Square

Christmas Eve (December 24, 2007) & New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2007)

City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra performs Christmas and New Year’s carols

Starts at Kotzia Square

Concludes at Syntagma Square at 14:30